(archived from Mar. 9, 2013)
It’s no secret that blended family dynamics can be tricky. We find it especially challenging trying to navigate “fair” with the kids that don’t live in our home full time.
Bedrooms were a big hurtle that I’m excited to say after a mere 6 months, we have finally cleared. Here’s the deal…
When my husband and I married 3 years ago, he and his 15 year old moved in with me and my 2 boys. My home had 3 bedrooms so my two boys shared a room with bunk beds and his son took the other room. Perfect… except that we still have a boy and a girl that come every other weekend, not to mention the occassional friend that wanted to sleep over. Kids were sleeping on couches, in chairs… we needed more space!
Last summer we were thrilled to find a 5 bedroom home that would provide the space we so desperately desired. The 4 boys would take the 3 bedrooms upstairs and the little girl would take the downstairs room near ours, plus since she isn’t always with us, her room can be used for guests as well. Perfect plan, right? Not quite.
The oldest boy chose his room first. Then the 2nd boy, who decided over the summer that he would move in with us. That left my 2 “originals” to share a room as before. We were all ok with this plan until the mother of the 2nd boy refused to let him move. That’s a story for another day, but the dilemma now is this… Do we give him his own room when he’s only with us every other weekend? Is it fair to make two boys who live here full time share a room just to keep from feeling left out? This is tricky territory!
We didn’t want the boy to feel like he wasn’t welcome. We would still love for him to live with us all the time. But the fact is, he doesn’t. So we opted to move him in with the boy he’s closest to in age, and give my younger son his own room (he loves stuffed animals and needed the most space anyway). I figured these 2 step-brothers would love sharing a room. They are 14 and 13, and have some similar interests. I pictured them staying up late talking or playing video games. I imagined them developing a brotherly bond. Did I mention that this warm fuzzy scenerio was all in my head?
The 14 year old (the one who wanted to move in but didn’t) refused to sleep in his bed. I would find him sleeping in the recliner every weekend. I tried to decorate the wall over his bed with his interests; I always mentioned that I’d put fresh sheets on the bed; I joked about taking away the chair. Should we force him? He was being so passive aggressive and I honestly wasn’t sure of the right approach. Plus I could see that it was hurting the feelings of the 13 year old who really wanted his step-brother to share his room.
Then just as I was at my wits end, he did it! Actually, he brought a friend for the weekend while the 13 year old was out of town and they slept in both of the beds. Whatever! It broke the seal. He’s slept in that room ever since. And while I’m sure he won’t admit it, I really believe he likes it. I can’t wait for him to see the sign I posted. He’s gonna love this!